Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has backed teenage starlet Ryan Sessegnon to be a surprise late call-up to the senior England squad for this summer's World Cup in Russia, citing previous examples of Michael Owen in 1998 and Theo Walcott in 2006 as justification.
Sessegnon, who has been heavily linked with Tottenham, Manchester United, and now, according to the Daily Mirror, Manchester City as well, has enjoyed a fine season in the Championship as Fulham compete for a playoffs berth in a bid to return to the Premier League.
17-year-old Sessegnon isn't even legally allowed to buy alcohol for another 10 weeks, but his club manager thinks he is already good enough to go to the World Cup after consistently proving himself at every level so far.
"My opinion is that he has shown the quality for Fulham, he's shown the quality for Under-19s, won the [Under-19 European Championship], top scorer in the tournament, it's not my decision," Jokanovic is quoted as saying as he talked up the teen prodigy at a press conference.
"If he goes to World Cup, it won't be my decision, but Michael Owen and Theo Walcott they were similar age. But if they decide not this time I'm still sure he will be part of Euro 2020 or the next World Cup. 100 per cent. If not, then 99 per cent he will be there."
A versatile left-sided player, Sessegnon would likely be competing with Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose and Luke Shaw for a place in the final 23-man squad, although he could also fill a more attacking role higher up the pitch and would be a potentially exciting extra option.
(You may also be interested in 'Phil Neville Gets Off to Perfect Managerial Start as England Women Thrash France')